Developing a specific MRI technology to identify complications caused by breast implants

Ming Fang Lin, Lu Han Lai, Wen Tien Hsiao, Melissa Min Szu Yao, Wing P. Chan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


With advancements in aesthetic medicine, breast augmentation has become a popular plastic surgery worldwide, typically performed using either fine-needle injection or silicone implants. Both carry complication risks from rupture over time. In this study, we aimed to reduce misjudgments and increase diagnostic value by developing an MRI technique that can produce water-and silicone-specific images from MRI scans of phantoms (Natrelle® saline-filled breast implants) and human bodies. Pig oil, soybean oil, and normal saline were used to simulate human breast tissue, and two common types of breast implants, saline bags, and silicone bags, were selected as well, resulting in five materials scanned. Six pulse sequences were applied: T1W fast spin echo (FSE), T1W SPGR/60, T2W, T2W fat-saturation, STIR, and STIR water-saturation. Human body scans were additionally investigated using 3D SPGR fat-saturation dynamic contrast enhancement. Results show that the best way to enhance tissue contrast in images of silicone implants is to apply STIR combined with water suppression, and the best way to enhance saline bag implants is to apply T2W fat-saturation combined with fat suppression. Both offered very high sensitivity and specificity, rendering this method especially useful for distinguishing normal mammary glands from siliconoma.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3434
JournalApplied Sciences (Switzerland)
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2 2021


  • Breast implant
  • Magnetic resonance imaging
  • STIR
  • T2W

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Materials Science
  • Instrumentation
  • General Engineering
  • Process Chemistry and Technology
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes


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